Sunday, 25 April 2010

So, WHY are Dacre's minions stalking Clegg's wife?

Paul Dacre never learns - and he is losing his grip on Middle England. Take the pointless, prurient information-less snooping on Nick Clegg's wife which he runs on the news pages of tomorrow's Daily Mail newspaper as part 76 of his class war on Nick Clegg.

Revealed: The story of privilege behind Nick Clegg's wife's lingerie shopping trip

Apparently, "The picture of the politician's wife will fuel increasing criticism that Clegg is not as in touch with the man-on-the-street voter he professes to be".


This is more likely to backfire with his readers, who may more be impressed that the LibDem leader's wife can supports her husband while carrying on with her own career than taken by the news value of Mr Dacre's minions stalking her around the shops.

At least they were too ashamed to put any poor hack's byline on tomorrow's story.

Who knows. Perhaps "Daily Mail Reporter" is the editor in chief himself playing peeping Tom.

(The Mail editor's Taliban-lite tendencies extend to a ban on pictures of women wearing trousers, on the testimony of Rachel Johnson's account of "Dacre Rules").

UPDATE: Thanks for comment spotting that the Mail in fact lifted the story from the News of the World, though the NOTW account is somewhat more in the 'celeb spotting' mould than the Mail's account of privileged lingerie as a key election issue. So I feel the core point pretty much stands.

So, sorry, but we may have to make Dacrewatch an almost daily feature for the next fortnight.

Of course, the Daily Mail has always been the real home of the "politics of envy" in British politics. It can potent voice the discontents of what Fabian attitudes research has anatomised as the "angry middle" - except that Dacre's temper tantrums at the "utter irrationality" of the electorate may now be clouding his judgement.

And if Dave does blow it for Dacre, the Mail won't spend long looking for a scapegoat who lacks both Tory instincts and a British bloodline.

Take the priceless tiny photo story in the Mail on Sunday The only thing that looks Tory is the tea as Dacre's oh-so-busy minions also spotted Steve Hilton having a cup of tea with Andy Coulson and George Osborne in Bristol before Thursday's debate. (You have to scroll down to the third item at this link).

With the garish Lib Dem orange sleeves of his sweatshirt, he could have been mistaken for a Clegg aide.

The laid-back Hilton refuses to wear a suit and tie.

But it would seem that afternoon tea, served from a china pot, is one of the few English customs Hilton, whose parents were Hungarian, cannot resist.

By the way, did we mention that his parents were Hungarian?

Don't be surprised if it turns out to be the foreigners wot lost it.


Adam said...

I couldn't agree more. Not to well hidden away in these 'stories' are subtexts of an accepted defeat by the right wing print press.

Firstly, I don't remember the Mail ever flaming DC for being a 'toff', yet this story is clearly saying "See! this guy IS just as stuck up as DC!,.. and oh, but, btw doesn't his wife have nice pants?"
This is a tacit acceptance of the dominance of the non-print media in the zeitgeist and is the overdue acceptance that the medium is gasping its final breath.

Secondly, The Sun has, against any measure of judgement, maintained that DC won both debates so far and has made no mention of the success of Clegg... Until their headline on Friday of "The Cam-back kid" - a clear acknowledgement that he didn't do as well as the paper had claimed in the first debate.
This form of "news" is crumbling and is imploding.
Even the seminal Marshal McLeuen axioms such as "The medium is the message" don't hold for twitter and the bloggosphere as messages can be consumed in so many different ways and are, more often than not, of no material gain to the originator.

We are watching the last gasp of the old ways. Long live the king!

diodesign said...

Er well, it's not just the Mail... the pics of Mrs Clegg were first in today's News of the World: (as a cheeky two-page spread).

Sunder Katwala said...

Thanks for comments.

diodesign - I hadn't seen the News of the World; thanks. Have added an update to the post.

Ian said...
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